Byline: Cllr Akef Akbar – Criminal lawyer at Tyler Hoffman Solicitors
Following the Home Secretary Braverman’s letter there has been lots of confusion and of course the media have stirred the pot.
To clarify, her letter was advice to police chiefs.
She did not pass any sort of legislation to make waving the Palestinian flag illegal.
She said: “Behaviours that are legitimate in some circumstances, for example the waving of a Palestinian flag, may not be legitimate such as when intended to glorify acts of terrorism.”
Hamas in the UK is classified as a terrorism organisation. Any support for them would be a criminal offence.
To make clear, the flag of Palestine is not the flag of Hamas. In fact, Hamas have their own flag – it is green.
So, in the contrary, the Palestinian flag is an expression of support for its people.
It could be an offence under the POA when, for example, there is activity intended to harass or harm individuals but it is for the police to use their operational judgement.
Braverman’s letter threatens civil liberties and seeks to silence support for Palestine. A tactic used by our government to assert narrative control.
Many are being deterred from publicly supporting Palestine due to her letter.
If you wish to carry the flag, do not incite violence or hatred. Reminder to all that waving the great flag of Palestine is nothing more than showing solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine.
Watch Akef Akbar’s explainer video
The London Muslim community forum
It said: “We were reassured by senior members of the Metropolitan Police that the Palestinian flag was not banned from being displayed.”
“We wish to remind everyone: the Palestinian flag is NOT a proscribed terrorist flag under current legislation. It can be displayed at pro-Palestinian protests.” [their emphasis]
Dame Lynne Owens, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, gave more clarity when she said expressing support for Palestinians, including the act of waving Palestinian flags, would not automatically be considered a criminal offence.